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Guggenheim New York becomes Unesco World Heritage site

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, more commonly referred to as The Guggenheim, has been added to Unesco’s World Heritage List.

The museum, grouped as The 20th Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, has been named among eight buildings in the United States that were inscribed under that label. Wright becomes only the third architect named on the list and, more poignantly, the additions marks the first recognition of American modern architecture by Unesco.

“The Guggenheim Museum is honoured to receive this internationally esteemed designation that recognises the significance of Frank Lloyd Wright’s contribution to cultural heritage,” Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said in a statement. “As we celebrate 60 years as an architectural icon, our Wright-designed masterpiece continues to serve as a beacon and inspiration for visitors from around the world.”

The art museum is famously located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City. With a keen focus on Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art, The Guggenheim collection is ever-evolving to the world.

Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, said the decision comes as “an immense honour” to have Wright’s work “recognised on the world stage among the most vital and important cultural sites on Earth like Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the Statue of Liberty in New York,” in an accompanying statement.

Detailing the architect’s drive further, Graff added: “He wanted to break the box of historic architecture and open us up to a better, different, freer way to live,” in an interview with NPR. “And we still feel that today. We feel that in our homes and our cities. We feel that in our connection to the landscape. And that’s the measure of his achievement.”